« AnteriorContinuar »
for the throne which his wretched profli- | naked, surrounded by the profligate of gate father had vainly desired to occupy, both sexes; but it is unnecessary to deand has evidently been an important scribe these filthy mummeries, or the instrument for good in our own day. havoc made with the churches, and the
Bailly, and many other leaders who had articles used in public worship. The figured in the early days of the revolu- remains of the noble and mighty dead tion, were now also put to death-their were cast from their graves, and the mocup of retribution was full. Petion and numents to their memory were destroyed. others died by their own hands, or of Some were preserved, being kept to form hardships in their attempts at conceal a museum of monuments. ment. France was now one great slaughter The embalmed body of Condé, the
few in it could feel secure of famous general, was preserved, as an their lives for a single day. When the article of great curiosity ; for many years, shades of night had closed, families started it rested between the skeletons of a monat the passing sounds, which betokened key and a camel, until, at the command domiciliary visits, or the arrest of neigh- of Bonaparte, it was again committed to bours ; they trembled, in apprehension the tomb. The bones of the earliest that themselves might be the next. The monarchs of France, together with the prisons of Paris were in a state filthy and putrifying remains of the wretched kings horrid beyond description. At one time, Louis xiv. and xv., who had done so nearly eight thousand persons were in much to hasten this day of retribution, confinement. In former ages, the like were all covered from sight in one undisatrocities had been acted, though not on tinguished mass. so general or so extended a scale; those Early in the year, the French made an had been perpetrated under the name of attempt on Sardinia, which failed; it is religion—but the emissaries of Satan now only noticed, to mention that Napoleon threw off that disguise. Superstition had Bonaparte first bore arms therein. The long since destroyed true religion in principal English fleet, called the Channel France; but now, that destroyer sunk fleet, was unable to bring the French to before the great development of atheism, action. In the Mediterranean, a squaor infidelity.
dron under lord Hood occupied Toulon, A new era was begun, dating from with the concurrence of the oyalists, "the first year of the republic.” A new and took possession of the French fleet, calendar was sent forth, dividing the year to hold it for their king. When the into twelve months, of thirty days each, efforts of the constitutionalists at Lyons, setting apart the remaining five as festi- and in other parts of the south, failed, vals to Genius, Industry, Fine Actions, the republican army invested Toulon. Rewards, and Opinion. The extra day of Bonaparte, then only a young officer of the fourth year was to be the feast of artillery, obtained a command, and adRevolution. These days were to occupy vised proceedings which enabled the asthe five at the close of the year, which sailants to cannonade the harbour. The were always to begin on September 21st. defenders were not numerous enough, The seventh day, that Divine and mer and they were too heterogeneous a body ciful institution for the sabbath rest, to act with efficiency. By the middle of which is to be traced in every nation, December, it was plain that Toulon must even among the heathens, was now re be abandoned. This was carried into nounced, and the tenth days, or decades, effect, though with much confusion. Sir were to be considered as holidays. Thus Sydney Smith exerted himself; many of one marked result of pretended popular the French ships were destroyed, and improvement was to deprive the poor others brought away; but through the man of a fourth part of his rest from inefficient proceedings of the Spaniards, labour. Let him ever be on his guard nineteen ships of the line and frigates against such attempts, from whatever were left, with little or no injury: The quarter they rise. · This calendar was ob- republicans massacred all suspected royalserved for nearly twelve years.
ists that did not escape, and committed All religious worship was abolished their usual atrocities. Thus closed the The French endeavoured to persuade year 1793 in France; but the leading themselves that death was an eternal events in that country, in the following sleep. A sort of worship was to be year, must be noticed, being immediately offered to Reason, who was personified connected with those of the preceding. in processions by women more than half The French jacobin party having tri
umphed at home, directed attention to of his associates, now saw that they must their armies, which were strengthened, fall, unless they could destroy him—and urged forward, and encouraged to pro- the mad tyrant found himself openly opceed, although divisions and strife con- posed. Tallien, with his supporters, pretinued to distract the land. Suspicion vailed, and denounced Robespierre in and death were still the order of the day. the convention. He could not obtain a It was evident that the leaders were bent hearing, was impeached, and carried to on mutual destruction. Hebert and others prison, with some of his adherents ; but were sent to the guillotine by Robespierre, they were soon liberated by a mob, and on March 21st, 1794. Danton, with assembled a force at the Hôtel de Ville. more, followed a few days later. A third The convention declared Robespierre out party, including several others who had of the protection of the law; those assembeen active in the reign of terror, were bled to support him then hesitated. Many executed on April 13th. Many others of them joined the assailants, who forced shared the same fate in that and on the an entrance into the council-chamber, following month; among them the ami- where he sat. Finding resistance vain, able princess Elizabeth ; and not only he tried to shoot himself with a pistol, men of rank or note, but some of the but the wound was not mortal. The lower classes, who had hitherto escaped morning of July 28th dawned, the fiendfrom the proscription.
like leader was carried to the convention, Robespierre and his immediate sup- and from thence to prison, a wounded porters were now proceeding to the most outlaw; and in the afternoon he was desperate measures. In the end of May, executed, with twenty of his associates. a decree was passed, that no quarter The mob followed him with execrations, should be given to any British or Ha a band of women danced round the carts, noverian soldier. The duke of York, in and when his head fell under the guilloa public order, remarked very properly tine, the last executed of the band, shouts on the atrocity of such a decree; but, of applause rent the air, and the crowd with a Christian spirit, he called upon departed singing. Simon, the wretch his soldiers not to retaliate. Having de- who had caused the death of the little nounced and put to death the most deter- dauphin, was put to death at this time. mined of the atheists, Robespierre caused Tallien, Sieyes, Cambacéres, and those the convention to decree that there was a who were now leaders, closed the reign supreme Being, and to order a festival, of terror. Some of the most atrociously in honour of “L'Etre Suprême.” Robes- active therein were, in their turn, guillopierre acted as high-priest; he set fire to tined, and the Jacobin club was dispasteboard images of anarchy and athe- persed; but the horrible state of Paris ism, which disappeared, and disclosed a cannot be adequately described. The figure of wisdom, though somewhat deepest profligacy had accompanied the smoked by the burning of its covering. late atrocities. The leaders, as they Some of his associates laughed at these arose in succession, plundered what they absurdities, whilst others shuddered to could seize, and revelled in all the luxuhear him declare that more blood must ries they could command, while the great flow. For some time, from thirty to fifty mass of the people were literally dependvictims had perished by the guillotine ent upon a wretched allowance of coarse every day. The public accuser was now bread, at the rate of a pound a day for ordered to prepare for the daily murder each member of a family. This was of one hundred and fifty, and a drain delivered at the bakers' shops to the was constructed to carry off underground bearers of orders issued daily; but the the blood from the place of execution to applicants were obliged to wait for hours the Seine. Robespierre accordingly pro- for their turns, each holding on a rope posed and carried a law still more violent stretched from the shop, that the reguin the proceedings it directed, and by | larity of application might be preserved which most of the members of the con --but the scenes of disorder often were vention would have perished.
disgusting He was in fact insane, but there was a This memorable year in France, exsanguinary method in his madness, and he hibited the climax of horrors-originating fancied himself promoting a moral regene- long before in the prevalence of bigotry, ration of the human race, while pushing superstition, oppression of the lower oron his atrocities in the manner above ders, and the utter rejection of the word of described. Tallien, Barrère, and others God; proceeding onward for many years
through luxury, want of public faith, | ficient weight to justify an act for the and infidelity, to the overturn of all so suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act; so cial order; rapine and destruction of that those charged with political crimes property, with disregard of every duty might be detained in prison upon susand restraint, until no man was sure of picion, and without trial. In the close his life for a single day. Each order of the year, some important government and class of society had become sufferers prosecutions came to an issue, against in its turn. All possessed of anything to Hardy, Tooke, Holcroft, Thelwall
, and lose, were losers, while those who ori- others, for high treason. The whole ginally had nothing, seized all that was force and energy of the legal advisers within their reach.
connected with the government, was The course adopted by Fox and the directed against the accused, but they opposition in England, when the session were defended with still greater ability of parliament opened, at the beginning by Erskine and Gibbs; and after three of 1794, was still to praise and palliate trials, extending through nearly a month, the proceedings of the French, and to the prisoners were found not guilty. It dwell upon the failure of the efforts of is to be regretted that Pitt and his fellowthe coalition. Their anger was especially ministers had not prosecuted for the directed against Pitt, who firmly with lesser crime of sedition, which could stood them, supported by an overwhelm- have been proved; but the grave and ing majority, avowing that indemnity for heavy allegation of high treason could the past must be sought, as well as se not be borne out. The accused might curity for the future, and urging that have contemplated overt acts, but had France had been converted into an not yet proceeded to that extent; and armed nation. The military force was juries were not disposed to consider that increased, but not on a scale adequate plans for altering the constitution were to the state of affairs, while the plan of necessarily treasonable. This failure much raising money by loan was pursued. The weakened the government. At the time, feelings of the nation in general were it was not easy to avoid being carried manifestly against France, yet the num away by excitement; and, without doubtber of the disaffected was still consider- ing of Pitt's veracity, we may consider able. They were connected by secret that he took exaggerated views of the and affiliated societies, organized to proceedings of these
o friends of reoverturn the existing constitution, and form.” They were able to show that the sought to cause a revolution, if possible, most serious acts, or speeches, alleged in Britain, though not designing the des- against them, were many of them inferperate atrocities of France.
ences that rested on the evidence of men The English government was alarmed of no character, who had joined the poliby the proceedings of the Jacobins, as tical associations purposely to find out they were called, from their fellow-feeling ground for accusation; and that all for those of France, and commenced a which could really be proved against series of prosecutions for sedition and them, as members of the Corresponding treason. These had begun in Scotland Society, went little farther than the views in the preceding year, and were maintained by Pitt himself, with others, a cessful in convicting all the accused, few years before, on the subject of parwho were imprisoned or transported liamentary reform. Pitt and the duke of some of them on evidence not very full Richmond were summoned by Horne or satisfactory-and the sentences ap- Tooke, that evidence to this effect might peared heavy, when contrasted with the be given by the supporters of governcharges proved. In England, the govern- ment. But those men had probably ment succeeded, during 1793, in con- deeper designs; and they would have victing some publishers and others for found it impossible to stop, had they selling seditious books; but many of the been able to commence their open and prosecutions failed, usually from the active measures for parliamentary rehaving attempted too much, and from form by popular efforts.
The prosethe repugnance of juries to convict cutions, therefore, may be considered as mainly on the evidence of false associ- having stopped progress in evil, while ates, employed as spies, to discover the the acquitials satisfied many that their plans of the secret societies.
liberties were yet protected by law. The allegations brought forward by Other and minor prosecutions failed in Pitt were, however, considered of suf- | the provincial courts ; but in Scotland,
Watt and Downie were tried for treason, clines on his ample couch. He also is a and found guilty. The former was exe- king. cuted. He bad, for some time, acted as a
“ Mont Blanc, the Monarch of Mountains, government spy, but latterly he had be They crowned him long ago, come active in the plots of the day. He
On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds,
With a diadem of snow." seems to have planned insurrectionary movements beyond what had been or
Not yet is the chamois abroad, cropganized in England, but his coadjutors ping the scanty herbage of his elevated and their means were utterly contemptible, pasture. The sterile wild, the dreary and and far too much stress was said upon them unsocial waste, shrouded in forbidding On the whole, there was, as an historian gloom, with its freezing air and overof the times remarks, a beneficial result
, awing stillness, and loneliness
, is unlovely from the failure of these prosecutions to the eye, and oppressive to the heart. He says, “After so singular a triumph Oh, how different this to the welcome of popular principle, the most factious home, the cheerful hearth, the flaring lost the power of alleging that the liber- fire, and the sunny smiles, and pleasant ties of England were on the decline; the voices of friendship and affection! Man people relapsed into their ancient habits is made for mankind, and a visit to the of loyalty; and the spirit of innovation, unsocial majesty of the mountain should deprived of foreign support, and steadily quicken the throbbing of bis pulse and resisted by the government, rapidly wi- | heart
, for deeds of brotherhood and thered in the British soil." Thus has
kindness. the Supreme Disposer of all things often overruled the sinful passions of men, in
The dawn of day is spreading around, mercy to Britain.
and already is Ritzer high among the mountains. Leaving his hut in the gloom of night, he has laboured up the rugged
heights with his fellow-hunter, to be RITZER; OR, SCENES IN THE MOUNTAINS. above the chamois when he comes forth
to feed. Shod with spiked shoes, like his How mighty are the mountains! The associate, supplied with a wallet, a flask, Andes, the Himalayas, the Atlases, and a cord, and a telescope, and armed with the Alps. Chamoulari, in Asia, is more his knife, an axe, and double-barrelled than five miles high; Sarata, in South gun, he grasps his iron-shod pole. Quick America, four miles and a half ; Geesh, is his eye, firm his foot, agile his limbs, in Africa, and Mont Blanc, in Europe, are fearless his heart, and all but unerring each about three miles. Mont Blanc has the aim of his deadly tube. Well to him often been ascended, but when ehall are known the steep ridge, the rugged human foot be placed on the icy forehead rock, the gloomy ravine, and the fearof Giant Chamoulari? The everlasting ful slope. Danger and he have long shows of a thousand winters, proclaim, been companions. There is a wildness in as with a voice, “ Hitherto shalt thou his look, a réckless daring in his uncome, but no further ?” and man-enter daunted mien, as though enterprise, and prising, proud, and vain-glorious man- difficulty, and peril, were his delight. has not yet dared to break the command. Sheltered by a projecting crag, he is ment.
waiting for the chamois. He cannot quell the freezing wind that blows,
Ritzer, the reckless, nature's fearless child, The icy barrier and eternal snows.
The daring hunter of that Alpine wild. Chamoulari reigns in dread magnifi
A solitary chamois is picking the cence; he stretches his icy sceptre over a realm of silence and desolation, and his tiously as he has ventured forth from the
choicest produce of the pasturage. Causnow-crowned head is unwinnowed by secluded fastnesses of the mountains, he the wings of the eagle and the condor.
has not escaped the eagle eye of Ritzer.
No sooner were his small, round, pointed, Not yet has morning dawned upon the hooked horns visible, than they were disAlps, but a gray mist lies, as a mantle, covered by the keen glance of the mounon the mountains. Viso, Genevre, Cenis, tain hunter. Ritzer has wound round and Iseran are but dimly descried, and the craggy rock, taken a circuitous path, farther north, Mont Blanc, wrapt in his scaled the precipitous ravine, and is now shadowy robes of cloud and twilight, re within threescore yards of the unsuspect
ing chamois, levelling his deadly weapon, their high eminences to the narrow rested on a projecting point, at his hap- vallies below.
The crack of the rifle is heard, and the chamois is hurrying across the
O'erwhelmed at once the traveller meets his doom, slippery glacier and the frozen snow.
A snowy sepulchre and mountain tomb. Unnumbered clamorous echoes round him rise,
Life is at all times, and in all places, As, hoofed with speed and wing'd with fear, he dies. uncertain ; but here, in a moment, and
without warning, death comes upon his But is he unwounded? Unwounded !
victim unawares. Here there is but a When did the death-shot of Ritzer fall
step between us and the grave. harmless? The chamois is smitten, and carries with him his destruction!
The monks of Great St. Bernard ! The
monks of Great St. Bernard ! There they A party, with their guides, are ascend
go with their poles on their errands of ing Mont Blanc.
Appalling height! mercy. On, on, ye band of brothers ! stupendous eminence,
On, on, ye Alpine philanthropists!
Though cold the region you inhabit, the “ Monarch of the scene, mightiest where all are mighty."
love of humanity is warm in
hearts. Though ye are not angels, yet At the base of the mountain, vegetation are your impulses from heaven. The abounds, and gardens and orchards are dogs of St. Bernard are on before; they here and there intruded on by the slippery have outstripped their masters in running glacier. Higher up are glacier, and rock, to the rescue. Each dog carries a flask, and pine, and larch trees, and above them to revive the spirit, and a blanket to crags more rude, rocks more abrupt, with defend from the cold, the hapless beings clefts, and chasms, adorned with rhodo- they may find entombed in the snows. dendron, gentian, and Alpine plants; See! See ! already have the sagacious while lastly comes the sterile region of brutes discovered a buried group; they silence, frost, and snow
have scented the breath-holes made in
the snow, by those who were not too Where Winter holds his never-ending court,
The hapless travellers gaze with strange surprise, The party have passed to the east of As feebly from their gloomy graves they rise. the Glacier des Buissons, wound round the Aiguille du Midi to gain the Grand of one of the dogs, and two exhausted
A fainting boy is fastened on the back Mulet, mounted the Plateaux; the Tacul and the Rocher range have been won,
men are being borne by the monks to and pow the summit of Mont Blanc is
the monastery. May the white-winged about to be attained. Ritzer is yet in by the High and Holy One, guard that
messengers of the skies, commissioned pursuit of the wounded chamois.
asylum of charity from coming danger,
and love, and peace, and joy take up How vast the scene! and how oppres- their abode there for ever! Ritzer is still sive the dreary wild! The loneliness
the mountains. and the silence hang as a weight on the heart. Hark! It was nothing but the And this is the Glacier des Bois-of whistling wind, and the shrill cry of the all Alpine glaciers the greatest. How marmot, and now all is still. Again! striking its appearance ! That was a more fearful sound! It was
“A savage sea, the rush of the falling avalanche that
The glassy ocean of the mountain ice. overhung the pass. Where are the tra
Its rugged breakers, which put on vellers who were toiling up the steep?
The aspect of a tumbling tempest's foam,
Frozen in a moment, a dead whirlpool's image." Surely they are not entombed beneath that mountainous mass of snow! How The Glacier de Blaitière has harder dreadfully still it now lies in the valley! | ice, the Glacier des Buissons is purer and This is a fearful region in which to travel, less sullied with earth and stones, the for it is said that, sometimes, the beetling Glacier de Tacconay is more singular, avalanches are so slightly poised, that the forming a bright and eccentric arch, and sound of a rifle, the bark of a dog, nay, the Glacier d'Argentière is more elegant almost the voice of a traveller, or mule- and beautiful; but in dimensions the teer will bring them toppling down from | Glacier des Bois is unrivalled. The part
And Desolation dwells in silent halls.